Written by Helena Littman Wednesday, 11 September 2013 00:00
After Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast last fall, many towns found their community establishments devastated by flooding or winds. Now, a Port business is reaching out to help the library and elementary school of neighboring Oceanside replace the books lost to storm damage. The Dolphin Bookshop on Port Washington’s Main Street has started a book donation program, “Books with a Porpoise,” to benefit the Island Park Public Library and Walter S. Boardman Elementary School #9E in Oceanside, which lost over 10,000 books, CDs and DVDs.
As part of the program, The Dolphin Bookshop has decided to help the libraries complete their collections of holiday books, purchasing for Oceanside holiday-related books that the librarians request. Dolphin customers will be able to purchase one of those books- — at a 30% discount — to donate to the Oceanside libraries. “This gives people in Port Washington the ability to help as well,” Dolphin owner Judith Mitzner told The Port Washington News. Once the holidays are over, the program will continue.
The libraries’ plight was brought to the bookshop’s attention by employee Vivian Moy, and the Dolphin’s owners jumped at the opportunity.
“This is a need that needs to be filled,” Mitzner said. “They were devastated and we love books and want to help them get back on their feet.”
After Hurricane Sandy, the first floor of the Island Park Public Library was flooded with roughly three feet of water. Unfortunately, the first floor is where most of the library’s books are, as well as the entire children’s section, so the flooding ruined a good portion of their collection. “We estimate losing over 12,000 circulating items in the children’s room at a value of over $200,000,” reveals librarian Meghan Ceglie.
The damage resulted in the library closing for nine months. The librarians deleted all the books in the system, and then re-entered the ones that had been spared. Although a tedious process, it allowed the librarians to assess the damage.
Librarians from the elementary school and the public library will now be deciding what to restore, compiling lists of books needed.
“Books with a Porpoise” is extra special because it will be supplying the libraries with specific books that have been requested and that the librarians know they need.
“It will take us a few years, but little by little we will get there, especially with the generous community outreach of small businesses like the Dolphin Bookshop,” says Ceglie. “We are very grateful to have them helping us in such a unique way.”
Mitzner says she and the staff, “feel privileged to help the school and library because they are such an integral part of a community.”
The book donation program was launched at the beginning of September. Visit the Dolphin Bookshop or call at 767-2650 for more information.